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State Tax Knife May Slice Amazon, Microsoft

As I write this, the Capitol is swarming with lobbyists. One such man, who asked to not be named, said that every major company -- Amazon and Microsoft included -- has sent in the "big guns" to try to see that such a bill is not passed.

And no wonder.

If the proposed tax changes go through, they're going to cut into the profits significantly -- and there really isn't much room for that. Take Amazon, for instance. It lost $39 million last year. Microsoft is a big money maker -- just under $17 billion in net income for 2012 -- but that was down from $23.2 billion a year earlier.


Corporations always seem to find a way to ease their tax burdens, but there would be no way to get around the proposed tax changes. And investors won't like that very much.

The legislative session in Washington state will close in just a few weeks, so we will have to see what happens -- but if the Democrats successfully pass the proposed tax changes, Amazon, Microsoft and the people who invest in those companies could be in for a rough ride.

Disclosure: The writer holds no positions in any of the companies mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Renee Butler is a freelance financial journalist based in Seattle. She has written hundreds of articles and blog posts on hedge funds, the financial markets, investing trends and company developments. Her articles have appeared on MSNBC, MarketWatch, the Motley Fool, The Street and Seeking Alpha, among others. Butler is a member of the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists, and holds advanced degrees in business, financial management, psychology and sociology.
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